Breaking News: Federal Court Upholds Local Ban on Sale of Puppy Mill Dogs

By on April 2, 2015 with 7 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Yesterday, a federal U.S. District Court rejected a pet store’s challenge to the City of East Providence’s ordinance restricting the sale of dogs produced in commercial, large-scale puppy mills, providing an important legal precedent in our national effort to crack down on abusive mills. More than 70 local governments now restrict the retail sale of puppy mill dogs, including Cook County, Ill., Los Angeles, and Phoenix. We should see that number grow as advocates are energized by the court ruling and take action in their communities, helping to drive the market toward pet adoption and responsible dog breeders.

But there’s other good news on the anti-puppy mill front.

Late last week, Virginia became the latest state to pass a law prohibiting pet stores from purchasing from breeders with recent and severe Animal Welfare Act violations.

We are also working directly with pet stores to promote the humane economy and change their business models for the better, including the latest conversion of Pets Plus of Gibbstown, N.J. Within a week of its grand reopening on March 14, 2015, all 11 of the former shelter dogs and puppies in this pet store had been adopted, and it was eagerly accepting more rescued animals from shelters to meet the needs of the community. So far, 2,800 former shelter dogs have been saved as a direct result of these partnerships with 12 pet stores we’ve worked with to make changes in their supply chain.

In the Rhode Island case, The HSUS’ litigation team coordinated the filing of an amicus brief by the local Rhode Island animal protection group, Ocean State Animal Coalition, with representation by Boston firm Goodwin Procter.  In his ruling, Chief Judge William E. Smith, Federal District Court for the District of Rhode Island said: “A government’s interest in preventing the evils associated with ‘puppy mills’ that both parties cite to, including inhumane treatment of animals and overpopulation, are plainly legitimate ends.”

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  1. RUDICA RATTO says:

    What is the update on those roadside zoos and abused baby tigers?

  2. Peggy Ellison says:

    I am so pleased to see that HSUS is doing such a great job in winning cases against puppy mills. 4 years ago we rescued a Boston Terrier from a Missouri puppy mill. Tess is a survivor, a breeding bitch who was scheduled to be killed because her puppy production was down. She came to us in a debilitated state —5 lbs under weight, no musculature in her rear legs, and many psychological issues. She has come so far with a lot of love and patience, but she still has many issues. We are so lucky to have her in our lives. Without the rescuers, Tess would not be here today. Through me, Tess would like to thank you for saving her life.

  3. Sharon Corrado says:

    They are not following Mission Statement and haven’t for years. They have come corrupt… They need to revamp or go away

  4. Andrea Tatum says:

    As a dog fancier, I enjoyed AKC events and did not object to rising cost as AKC added a fee to each entry. AKC has other ways to fund itself besides supporting the horror of life in puppy mills. I am so disappointed in AKC for its stance on a bill that backs its own mission statement, that like many others I am considering other options. The puppy mills alone can not support AKC. What will they do when all the humane fanciers abandon AKC as it has abandoned dogs?

    • kathy says:

      The AKC was the line to follow when the love of the dog and breed was what mattered. Now the AKC is there for the money. They don’t care about the animal, just the $$$$$$$$.

  5. Kathleen says:

    Puppy mills are an outrage and disgrace to dog lovers everywhere. Discouraging the use of puppy mills will hopefully snowball all the way into puppy mills becoming against thte law. No animal deserves to go through such horrible treatment. Money is the only interest of the Puppy mills

  6. Cathy says:

    Cannot buy from breeders, good, but what about brokers? That is a HUGE business for the nation’s main supplier of pet store puppies, Hunte Corporation?

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